After King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated the king of Judah, he brought a man named Daniel and some other Israelites from Jerusalem to serve him. Although he was living among people who worshipped other gods, Daniel never stopped worshipping the Lord. So God gave Daniel the power to interpret dreams and visions, and he became well-known for his wisdom and understanding.
When Darius became king of Babylon, he chose 123 people — including Daniel — to help him run his kingdom. Darius liked Daniel and planned to put him in charge of the entire kingdom.
Darius’ other assistants were jealous and wanted to accuse Daniel of doing something bad. So they asked the king to pass a law they knew Daniel would not obey.
“For thirty days,” they said, “whoever makes a petition to anyone, divine or human, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions.”
The king agreed. And once the king made a law, it could not be cancelled.
Daniel continued to pray to God three times a day at his home. One day, the king’s assistants rushed in and caught him. They went to the king and insisted that Daniel be thrown into the lions’ den.
Darius tried to find a way to save Daniel, but in the end he had no choice. He ordered Daniel to be cast into the lions’ den and for a stone to be placed in front of the entrance. He sealed the stone with his ring so it could not be tampered with.
“Your God, whom you serve so constantly, must save you,” he told Daniel.
In the morning, the king raced to the lions’ den and called out to Daniel.
“My God sent his angel and closed the lions’ mouths so that they have not hurt me,” Daniel replied.
The king was filled with joy and gave a decree to all his people: “Throughout my royal domain the God of Daniel is to be reverenced and feared. For he is the living God, enduring forever, whose kingdom shall not be destroyed, whose dominion shall be without end, a savior and deliverer, working signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who saved Daniel from the lions’ power.”